Space Force, Part 11: It begins

It took a holiday to give me the time I needed to catch up on Space Force news.  I have had browser tabs sitting open for months, waiting for me to write something about the articles.

[EDIT: added] Opinion on why we need a Space Force, from way back in June 2018, by Doug Loverro, a former Dep Assist SECDEF for Space Policy.  I like his take on things.

Why the United States needs a Space Force

Opinion on why we need a Space Force, from May 2019

The United States Space Force: The Time is Now

David Deptula, retired Lieutenant General, disagrees: no Space Force, at least not yet.

Does a Separate Space Force Make Sense?

Deptula tries to explain the relationships between commands and services, and says we don’t need a service.  Services have responsibility to organize, train, and equip forces.  The ‘equip’ part is what has not been done well by USAF.  China demonstrated anti-satellite capability in 2007.  What has USAF done to equip forces in response?  A Space Force would care more about equipping for space warfare.   Then Deptula complains that a Space Force would not be an armed service, because it doesn’t have any weapons.  Well, equip it then!  If we follow his logic, all USAF has to do is neglect space weapons, and then Space Force would never come to be, and Air Force wouldn’t lose budget share.

Here is the DoD Space Force proposal that was sent to Congress.

There are several links at the bottom of the proposal web page. One of these, Space Policy Directive-4, is here
Here are some interesting parts and my comments:
“3(e): Projecting military power in, from, and to space in support of our Nation’s interests”
Looks like Space Force will have the offensive capability that Deptula wanted.
“4(b)(ii) not include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Reconnaissance Office, or other non-military space organizations or missions of the United States Government.”
Of course NASA and NOAA are not included in Space Force. It’s funny to refer to NRO as non-military when so many military are assigned and the head has always been dual-hatted as an undersecretary or assistant secretary of the Air Force.
“5(b) The proposed United States Space Force should:
(i) include, as determined by the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Secretaries of the military departments, the uniformed and civilian personnel conducting and directly supporting space operations from all Department of Defense Armed Forces;”
Sounds like space operators will transfer from Army, Navy and Marines (not just Air Force) to USSF.
“(ii) assume responsibilities for all major military space acquisition programs; and”
Sounds like money and programs will transfer from Army, Navy and Marines (not just Air Force) to USSF.
“(iii) create the appropriate career tracks for military and civilian space personnel across all relevant specialties, including operations, intelligence, engineering, science, acquisition, and cyber.”
Base support and medical are not included. Probably Air Force will provide those functions, except for Space Force units on Army or Navy bases.
7. (a) A Unified Combatant Command for space
Space Force, as a service, will organize, train, and equip space units that will operate under US Space Command.
8. Relationship with National Intelligence. The Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence shall create and enhance mechanisms for collaboration between the Department of Defense and the United States Intelligence Community in order to increase unity of effort and the effectiveness of space operations.
This is less than what we need, but it’s something: NRO and Space Force will agree to work together.
Sec. 10. Periodic Review. As the United States Space Force matures, and as national security requires, it will become necessary to create a separate military department, to be known as the Department of the Space Force.
This proposal outlines the starter version of Space Force. It will grow.

And it’s official!

[EDIT: added] Here’s a chart of how Space Force fits into DoD



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